Soccer Season Ends in SEC Shootout
ORANGE BEACH, Ala. - After playing to a 1-1 draw in 110 minutes of game action Friday night, the No. 6-seeded LSU soccer team saw its 2010 season come to an end after dropping a 4-3 decision in a penalty kick shootout with the No. 2-seeded South Carolina Gamecocks in the semifinal round of the SEC Women's Soccer Tournament being held at the Orange Beach Sportsplex.
The Tigers (8-8-5, 4-3-3 SEC) advanced to the SEC Tournament semifinal for the fourth-straight year and finished this year's event with a 4-1-4 record in SEC Tournament play since 2007.
The Gamecocks (14-4-4, 8-2-1) earned a spot in the SEC Tournament final for the second season in a row where it will meet the winner of Friday's second semifinal match between the No. 1-seeded and SEC regular season champion Florida Gators and the No. 4-seeded Georgia Bulldogs on Sunday at 2 p.m. CT.
"It's always disappointing when your season ends in a shootout. After falling behind early on, our players did a great job of fighting back and getting the game to overtime," said LSU head coach Brian Lee. "We now have nine months to really push ourselves and work hard in off-season conditioning to make sure our team doesn't have this feeling again. We will dedicate ourselves to ultimate fitness during that time."
South Carolina striker Kayla Grimsley gave the Gamecocks a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute of the first frame as the newly crowned SEC Offensive Player of the Year scored her 12th goal of the campaign.
Following a failed clearance that deflected behind the LSU back line, Grimsley raced into the penalty area on a breakaway and buried a strike inside the right post from the penalty spot to give South Carolina a lead at the 28:46 mark. LSU's freshman goalkeeper Megan Kinneman came running off her line to cut off Grimsley's angle, but the Gamecock star took a composed finish for the goal.
But the Tigers continued to fight into the second half and drew level with the Gamecock on 78 minutes on a brilliant individual effort by freshman striker Addie Eggleston.
After the ball was played over the top of the South Carolina back line, Eggleston battled for possession of the ball with Gamecock defender Dani Henry. While holding off Henry with her left shoulder, Eggleston continued her remarkable run to the end line where she made a sliding cross into the middle of the penalty area. Sophomore striker Carlie Banks made a great sliding effort of her own to redirect it into the net.
Banks netted her team-leading fifth goal of the season at the 77:30 mark of regulation to tie the score at 1-1 as the teams played a scoreless final 12 minutes of regulation to force overtime.
"What a tremendous effort by Addie Eggleston to create the tying goal," Lee said. "She's really started to come on strong late in the year and has been dominant for us at times up top. Their defender probably had a three or four yard head start on Addie, and she just raced right past her and made a great cross."
The two sides played 20 minutes of scoreless overtime before deciding the outcome in a PK shootout. The Gamecocks converted four of five attempts by Kortney Rhoades in the first round, Kelsey Barr in the third round, Brittiny Rhoades in the fourth round and Grimsley in the fifth round to take the 4-3 decision.
With the Tigers leading off, junior goalkeeper Mo Isom converted her attempt in the first round, while the freshman duo of Danielle Murphy and Kinneman converted in the third and fifth rounds, respectively.